Why We Walk
Oct 18, 2012 by Sara Wilkison
Alex was only three and a half years old when we were blindsided by the terrible news that he had Lymphoma. We battled the beast for two years with intensive Chemotherapy. We watched as our boy swelled with steroids, and withered with chemo. His hair fell out, and there were days he was in too much pain to walk. He learned the names of all his medicines, and could pronounce them better than we could. We believed our nightmare had ended in November of 2010, when we watched Alex take his last dose of chemo.
In April 2011, we celebrated Alex's sixth birthday at a waterpark, with many friends and family. I tried to tell myself that the night sweats and bruising I saw on his young body were just evidence of a great time at the waterpark. One week later we were in the hospital emergency room learning that Alex had cancer again. At first we were told it was a relapse of his original cancer. Two days later, we learned that the Chemotherapy he received during treatment caused a genetic mutation, and he had a completely different cancer. The CURE for his Lymphoma CAUSED his LEUKEMIA.
Now, as a very high-risk Leukemia patient, our only option was a bone marrow transplant. The search began for a match, and one was found on the other side of the planet. While we waited for all the pieces to fall into place, we began a chemo regimen, to hold the Leukemia at bay. In September, while his friends were getting on the school bus, Alex was wheeled down to the radiation room for "conditioning". No parent should ever have to watch as their child is tied down, placed in front of a massive radiation machine, and then separated by a two foot thick lead and concrete door. We watched through a grainy video feed, as our now six year old sat perfectly still, watching a Scooby Doo video on a tv with strange colors and distortions from the massive doses of radiation. We watched as Alex was poisoned with radiation to kill his immune system and be ready to accept the donor marrow.
Radiation sickness followed, with mouth sores, burned skin, vomiting and exhaustion. Alex's donor marrow was flown across the world, and within 24 hours of harvesting, we watched as the marrow dripped from the IV bag into his veins.
The road to recovery was long and hard, but we are now one year post transplant, and Alex shows no evidence of disease, and is back in school, catching up with his peers. He is leading a "normal" seven-year-old boy life. We are profoundly grateful for the research that has helped our son battle cancer - TWICE. However, until the cure cannot cause the disease, we have much more work to do.
Please consider donating to our Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Light the Night team: Warriors 4 Alex.
The cure isn't good enough - we must do better for our children, and other loved ones battling this horrid disease. Please donate TODAY
Oct 01, 2012 by Sara Wilkison
T-Shirts are available as a fundraiser to support our team. Shirts will be white, with a spiral tie-dye of orange and green circling away from the body.
To order a short sleeve, long sleeve or hoodie, please go to:
Order deadline is October 5th!
Thank you for helping W4A
Oct 01, 2012
Last year our team had a great year! We came in #2 for the Friends & Family team, raising $11,880.00! This year we are raising our goal to $13,000. Please help us by donating, or joining our team.
If you join our team, I ask you donate $25 to yourself as a "fee" to walk. Most of these types of funraisers ask for more, consider what it will do: A donation of $25 provides patients and their loved ones with FREE booklets that contain up-to-date information on their disease and help them make informed decisions about their treatment options.
Even if that's all you do, sign up to walk, please donate to yourself the requested amount. Last year we had 66 team members, and if we'd all donated $25 each we'd have been at $1600 before we were hitting the fundraising pavement! How cool! If we did the same as last year, we'd hit our new goal! Please consider this donation when you register and then you'd be 1/4 the way to being a Champion for Cures!
Thank you for your continued support!
Warriors 4 Alex
Warriors 4 Alex-Light the Night 2012
Apr 10, 2012
Welcome to my Light The Night Walk Team homepage.
Light The Night Walk is The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's annual fundraising walk to pay tribute and bring hope to people battling cancer. Hundreds of thousands of participants raise funds for lifesaving research and patient services.
For more than 60 years, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) has been solely focused on people with blood cancers. Presently, we have more than $250 million committed to research across the United States and in ten other countries. Every dollar is provided by concerned donors. We invest in the best, outcome based science:
- Anywhere, with no geographic or institutional boundaries
- Without profit incentive
- To meet unmet Medicare needs of people with blood cancers
And LLS funded advances are helping patients beyond those for whom they were originally developed, including people with solid tumors and auto-immune diseases. In the past decade, nearly 50% (19 out of 39) of the cancer drugs approved by the FDA were approved as treatments for blood cancer patients. Twelve are already approved for people beyond those for whom they were first developed. With your help, we are saving lives.
- A donation of $25 provides patients and their loved ones with FREE booklets that contain up-to-date information on their disease and help them make informed decisions about their treatment options.
- A donation of $50 makes possible a Family Support group with a trained facilitator where comfort can be found and experiences can be shared among patients and family members.
- A donation of $100 helps supply laboratory researchers with supplies and materials critical to carrying out their search for cures.
- A donation of $1,000 makes possible one- on-one conversations with health care specialists who provide patients with information about their disease, treatment options, and helps prepare them with questions for their health care team.
Please join our team's effort today by registering to walk or by making a donation. Your participation in the Light The Night Walk will help save lives. Be sure to check our team Web site frequently to see our progress, and thanks for your support!